Board reconsiders request for variance for subdivision

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Local real estate agent Tommy Breland addressed the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors again on behalf of developer Jimmy Lane regarding the Old Mill Landing Subdivision off of Old Kiln Road.

Breland told the board he had met with the Pearl River County Utility Authority and County Planning and Development Director Harold Holmes to discuss concerns about a variance request the developer had made to decrease lot sizes in the subdivision from 20,000 square foot lots to 10,000 square foot lots. Breland said the determination was made that if engineers could provide a revised plan for sewer and water systems and revised storm water drainage calculations, and if the revisions were approved by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the utility authority, then the request could be granted.

Breland provided the board with a letter from Harris and Heinrich, the engineers for the Old Mill Landing Subdivision, which addressed the concerns. The letter stated that many of the original plans, such as street and lot layout, sewer mains and storm water drainage, exceeded regulations and were sufficient for the new layout of the smaller, denser lots. The letter stated that few changes were needed, such as a slight increase in the water distribution system and a “doubled-up” configuration on driveways.

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Holmes recommended that the county engineers review the plans and make a recommendation before a decision is made.

District I Supervisor Anthony Hales said he was willing to make a motion to approve the variance subject to the recommendations of the engineers.

District II Supervisor Danny Wise said he would rather wait until the recommendations were heard before a motion was made.

District IV Supervisor Robert Thigpen said he thought another public hearing should be held on the matter.

“This is in my back yard, and my district. We had a public hearing on a 20,000 square foot subdivision. That’s not what they’re building. Seems to me like we need to have a public hearing on a 10,000 square foot subdivision … . It was approved as a 20,000 square foot subdivision, and to change it now without a public hearing is wrong. I think if you go through the process and do it correctly, there’s no way it can be stopped,” Thigpen said.

Another of Thigpen’s concerns was the drainage system that is being put in place.

“That’s in a perfect world, and we don’t live in a perfect world. Parts of Round Rock are going to end up in this same drainage basin. The storm put so much debris in this drainage basin. You have a drainage basin that has four blockages between there and Hancock county,” Thigpen said.

“(Storm drainage) is one of the target things being done with that subdivision. Storm water retention is above and beyond what is called for,” Breland said.

Thigpen made a motion to advertise for a new public hearing and to obtain recommendations from the county engineers.

“I just want to have public input. If it had been 10,000 square foot in the beginning, we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” Thigpen said.

“I don’t want to stymie growth in the county. I just want it done right,” Wise said.

The four supervisors present at the meeting passed the motion unanimously. Supervisor Larry Davis was absent.

Holmes presented the board with an application for a preliminary plat for the Fleur de Lis Subdivision on Rock Ranch Road, adjacent to the Covered Cove Subdivision. The application was made by Mark Gibson of the G9 Corporation for 79.19 acres, and is for a residential type 2 subdivision, with 20,000 square-foot lots. Holmes said a public hearing was held regarding the subdivision on Sept. 10, and all the citizens who attended were against the subdivision.

Holmes recommended approval of the subdivision under the conditions that a storm water permit is obtained prior to start of construction and the restrictive covenants be revised prior to submission of the final plat.

“The only way a subdivision can be challenged is on the grounds of whether or not they meet the restrictions set forth by the board of supervisors. If the (developers) meet the laws, we really have no choice but to approve it. We have no grounds to deny,” Hales said.

Hales made the motion to approve the subdivision, and the motion carried three votes to one, with Thigpen as the only dissenting vote.

Wise brought up tabandoning Tacks Town Road in the northwestern part of the county. Wise said the road is on the Wildlife Management Area, and there is only one individual who lives on the road, and the individual is in favor of the road being abandoned to a private road.

“To get rid of a county road, there is a set ABCD order that has to be followed,” said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin.

Holmes said he would contact the state board and find out what the proper procedure is to abandon a county road.

In other business, the board:

— Accepted invoice from Dungan Engineering for $21,635.16 for demolition monitoring and authorized payment when funds are received.

— Accept invoices from HRL for $98,000 for construction at the jail, and $59,897 for work on the courthouse.

— Authorized Board President Bettye Stockstill to sign SPCA agreement for Fiscal Year 2008.

— Approved application for final plat for Max Meadows Park Subdivision.

The board recessed until 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22.